Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Textual description of firstImageUrl

A Day at the Royal Observatory Greenwich


Quote of the day: 

Blow the dust off the clock. Your watches are behind the times. Throw open the heavy curtains which are so dear to you - you do not even suspect that the day has already dawned outside. 
-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 



The Old Royal Naval College  in Greenwich designed by Christopher Wren
The Old Royal Naval College designed by Christopher Wren with his other work the Flamsteed House of the Royal Observatory visible atop the hill to the right. Photograph: Blogoratti

The Royal Observatory at Greenwich holds the title for being Britain's first state funded scientific institution. Its establishment was proposed in 1674 by Sir Jonas Moore who persuaded King Charles II to create the observatory. It was around this period that Europeans took to the sea in many numbers to trade and explore the world. Having sufficient astronomical information to aid navigation, timekeeping and also measure longitude was needed.

The Royal Observatory with the red time ball visible
The Royal Observatory with the red time ball visible. Photograph: Blogoratti

Sir Christopher Wren who was by then a famous architect was on the Royal Commission set up by the King to look into investing in astronomy. It is worthy to note that Wren was a former professor of astronomy at Oxford.-and it was Wren who suggested using the ruined Greenwich Castle as the site of the new observatory which was located on high ground, and thus he oversaw the design of Flamsteed House which was the first part of the observatory built an the first time signal in the country was broadcast from its roof in 1833.


The Octagon Room at Flamsteed House at the Royal Observatory designed by Christopher Wren. Photograph: Blogoratti

There is a sense of space and freedom in Greenwich town. Out of all its accolades perhaps the most important is that it is the home of time. A place where eastern and western hemispheres meet. The Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT) is both a time zone and a reference point for the prime meridian. According to the Cambridge dictionary, the prime meridian is 'an imaginary line passing through Greenwich in England and marks 0° longitude, from which all other longitudes are measured.'The prime meridian was established by Sir George Airy in 1851 and it passes through the Airy transit circle (51°28′40.1″N 0°0′5.3″W) of the Greenwich Royal Observatory.

The Onion Dome housing a telescope can be seen atop the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Photograph: Blogoratti


Royal Observatory, Greenwich
Time Museum at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich
Time Museum at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich


As far back as the 19th century it became apparent that a move away from London was necessary due in part to air and light pollution and with new train lines that caused vibrations and interference with magnetic observations. It was later resettled at Herstmonceaux Castle near East Sussex.

The Altazimuth Pavillion seen on the right, and the Peter Harrison Planetarium in the background at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Photograph: Blogoratti

The Astronomy Centre at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich
The Astronomy Centre at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Photograph: Blogoratti

Today the Royal Observatory buildings have become a museum. The Royal Observatory is part of Royal Museums Greenwich which includes sites like Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum and Queens's House. There are several galleries to choose from, and although the main entrance to the Royal Observatory requires a ticket, entry to the Astronomy Centre, the Altazimuth Pavilion and shops are free. You can catch stunning views over the River Thames and the London skyline from the grounds, so if you are ever in London don't miss out on visiting these historic sites in Greenwich.

Royal Observatory, Greenwich
View of Greenwich Park, the Thames and beyond from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich
View of Greenwich Park, the Thames and beyond from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Photograph: Blogoratti

A walk through Greenwich Park


Fun Facts

1. We owe the system of longitude and latitude as well as time zones that we use today to the establishment of the prime meridian in Greenwich in 1884.

2. The Royal Observatory sustained bomb damage during the Second World War.

3. In 2007 new state of the art galleries, an education centre as well as a planetarium -the only one in London, were opened on the grounds.

4. The GMT was formally renamed as 'Universal Time' in 1935 but is still commonly known as GMT.

5. To help those in line of sight of the Royal Observatory including mariners at ports to synchronize their clocks to GMT, a visible time ball was installed that dropped daily at 1PM atop the observatory in 1833. It is still dropped till this day.

6. You can stand astride the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory -and in essence have one foot in the eastern hemisphere and the other in the western hemisphere.

7. The Meridian laser beam which marks the route of the Greenwich Meridian by night in a northerly direction from the Royal Observatory can be seen and is visible at a distance of over 36 miles with the naked eye.

8. The 28-inch refracting telescope -built to research double star systems, is the largest of its kind in the UK and 7th largest in the world.

More fun facts


Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Eric Dolphy -Far Cry

55 comments:

  1. Enjoyable post, good Sir...
    And a pleasant week to you and yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and that's kind of you. Glad you enjoyed it all. Greetings!

      Delete
  2. I love visiting here when I came in 2008 and now with your post again I get a second visit. :) Thank you very much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's such a lovely site isn't it, too great to fully grasp in the few photos. You are welcome and thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. Thanks for sharing these photos of inside of the Observatory. I was there on a Sunday so missed out on going inside to visit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello and you are most welcome, hopefully you will go there on a day you can see all the magic inside. Warm greetings!

      Delete
  4. So, did you straddle the line?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike, yes indeed but didn't capture the moment. Maybe next time!

      Delete
  5. This place looks nice.
    I would love to visit it.

    Much Love,
    Zarrah | The Bandwagon Chic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a wonderful place to visit, hope you get to sometime. Greetings!

      Delete
  6. Definitely a place I want to see someday.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love informational posts like this one! This is a place I've missed on my previous visits to the UK, but think I would enjoy seeing someday.

    I don't believe I knew Wren had been an astronomy professor before he became an architect. Fascinating!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and hopefully you will get to see it next time you visit.

      I was clueless about Wren being a professor too, not until recently!

      Delete
  8. An interesting post, I liked the clock at 2:45 almost the magical hour of 3:00 would that be AM or PM? Time is indeed precious. Enjoy your moments!

    Peace, light and love

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lovely post, thank you for this, I will never get to see up-close-and-personal.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Interesting photos and details. GMT was a fine name and I don't know why it was changed.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fascinating. I really enjoyed the pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The Gulag Archipelago (one of the first books I read after the dictatorship came to an end) and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

    What a fantastic post, B. Very informative and enjoyable. Excellent pictures!! Great job!!! As usual.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love your daily quotes! And also the information about England, my favourite country!

    ReplyDelete
  14. World needs badly this quote today to follow, inspirational words!

    marvelous place and magnificently captured and shared by you .
    Thank you for making me part of this elegant trip my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Al so fascinating. And I love that Greenwich sunshine!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love seeing amazing facts like this about our history. Imagine being in both East and West simultaneously. Touring this would be such a treat. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This was a highlight for me during a visit to London in 2011.

    ReplyDelete
  18. We enjoyed our visit to Greenwich, especially being on the prime meridian.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello, Loved the quote and inspiring words. The town of Greenwich looks pretty, I like the College and Observatory. I would like to take a tour there. Great series of photos. Enjoy your day!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you for a fun and interesting trip this morning.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Super post B, this has made me even more determined to visit our Observatory ✨

    ReplyDelete
  22. That sounds like a place I'd like to visit. I'd especially like to see those wind once a year clocks!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for letting me visit this beautiful Museum through your photos it is something I would like to see and never will because I don't fly and I don't float so there's no way to get over there. I really like the photo of the globe with the two people kneeling in front and the one just below it of that clock they're beautiful

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh, wow, my Dad certainly would´ve loved this to pieces!
    Fun-fact #5... I really do wonder if The Simpsons y2k-countdown was based on this red ball?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you for the visit! :) I remember visiting the old Planetarium in Montreal many MANY years ago and had a lot of fun. They since tore it down, sadly and moved it somewhere more touristy...it's all bells and whistles now so I've heard. But living in the mountains, we have a nice show each night when the sky is clear! :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. One big arse telescope. I knew it was their first funded institution. Sure looks like lots to see on the inside.

    ReplyDelete
  27. It's lovely to both see and read about a lifestyle/travel post on your blog; the Royal Observatory looks like the perfect spot for a day out in Autumn.

    aglassofice.com
    x

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Blogoratti - this is great - good timing ... as I'm putting up a few posts ... much lighter than yours ... but I'll link across here - so any readers can get some additional information from you here - cheers Hilary (PS I'll be back to read properly too)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Blogoratti - finally I've linked this post to the last of my Greenwich ones - it's going up tomorrow ... this is brilliant - cheers Hilary

      Delete
    2. Hi Blogoratti - I've linked to this post (3.10.17) from the last of my Greenwich tour ... thanks for this - your post really adds to the buildings I covered. - cheers Hilary

      Delete
  29. This was a lovely read, full of information, very enjoyable and I thought your photographs were brilliant too.
    Fantastic!

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wonderful photo tour of the Royal Naval Observatory and fascinating post ~ thanks, ^_^

    (A ShutterBug Explores)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Such an informative post with many educative facts! This was great to read! xoxo

    www.naomella.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks for this interesting tour and all the information.

    ReplyDelete
  33. in college...well remember striking GMT onto our geophone recordings. 'At the tone, the time will be...blah blah Universal Time."

    ReplyDelete
  34. Your tours are the best, Mr. Blogoratti! Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Excellent post (as always)!Thank you very much :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Another great post. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Look forward to your next idea.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Interesting post and a beautiful building.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Great content and love your thoughts on this post
    💗💗Thank you so much for all the support💗💗
    As on this month, MyLyfeMyStory has been officially renamed as Harija Ravi :)
    Harija Ravi

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love Greenwich. Haven't yet been to the observatory though, so that's still on the to do list. Travelled by river from Westminster bridge pier to visit the Cutty Sark, the Royal Navy College and Greenwich market. Love the blog and recommend Greenwich to anyone who is in London.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Such an interesting place to visit. Your photos are wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Great pictures. Makes me want to go there someday!

    ReplyDelete
  42. What a fun, interesting post! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Yes, I still refer to it as GMT.

    Sir Standford Flweming of the Great Western Railway in Canada had a lot to do with implementing the system of time zones.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Enjoying your blog! Ohhhh I want to stand on the Prime Meridian!!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hilary sent me to view this post - for which I thank you - and you.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Do connect with me on my other platforms below.

e: blogoratti@gmail.com
twitter: Iamblogoratti
Instagram: Iamblogoratti